William Hickling Prescott

By C. Harvey Gardiner | Go to book overview

PREFACE
This is the first biography of William Hickling Prescott in more than sixty years. In the first decade of the second century since his death, Prescott deserves attention because:
9. he wedded history and literature, widening the historian's public and challenging succeeding generations of historians,
10. he turned American interest to wider worlds in a period too given to narrow nationalism and isolation,
11. he won the first significant international reputation ever accorded an American historian—while contributing to the internationalization of the nascent literature of his country,
12. he is the most widely translated and frequently published of American historians,
13. he introduced historical practices,—for example, careful and full documentation, multiarchival research, and biobibliographical essays, which basically have enriched American historiography,
14. he represents the self-educated and magnificent amateur historian at his best,
15. he represents inspiring triumph over a vast array of obstacles,
16. he is still considered the finest historian of the Hispanic world produced by the Anglo-Saxon world,
17. he produced the "classic" accounts of the conquests of Mexico and Peru, and
18. his works are alive today—published, bought, read, and authoritative.

The present biography, based on more than a decade of study of materials in America and Europe, attempts to present a full and balanced view of William Hickling Prescott in every significant aspect

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